UK Government Minister for Wales David TC Davies, Minister for Business and Industry Nadhim Zahawi, and Welsh Government Deputy Minister for the Economy and Transport Lee Waters, have jointly hosted a virtual roundtable with business representatives from across Wales to discuss the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.
The ministers underlined both governments’ commitment to do whatever it takes to support business through the unprecedented and ongoing challenge of the coronavirus pandemic and to continue to work together on a collective response.
During the Q&A, which was attended by leading figures from large multi-national corporations, leading law firms and some of Wales’ many small-micro sized business, Minister Davies said he recognised the concerns of business leaders and their employees and highlighted the support packages the UK Government has made available, including £330 billion in UK Government-backed loans and the Job Retention Scheme which launched this week.
Minister Davies and Minister Zahawi outlined the continued commitment to working with the Welsh Government to tackle the coronavirus in Wales, noting that more than £2 billion in funding has now been provided to the Welsh Government by the UK Government to deal with this emergency.
Welsh Government Deputy Minister for the Economy Lee Waters also highlighted the support the devolved administration has provided including business rate relief and small business grants.
Representatives from businesses across a number of sectors including steel, higher education and construction provided important feedback on how the pandemic is affecting their businesses and employees. Discussions were also held around how both governments and businesses will work together to recover from the pandemic and to secure the future strength of the Welsh economy.
UK Government Minister for Wales David TC Davies said:
“We are extremely grateful for the honest feedback provided by businesses across Wales. It allows us to develop support packages that make a real difference to companies and their employees, protecting jobs and the economy.
“I will continue to work closely and collaboratively with the Welsh Government to support Welsh businesses, doing whatever it takes to get us through these unprecedented and difficult times.”
UK Government Minister for Business and Industry, Nadim Zahawi said:
“It is vital for us to hear first-hand from businesses facing the pressures of the coronavirus crisis, and we are working closely with the Welsh Government to provide the critical support Welsh businesses need.
“The UK Government is dedicated to safeguarding jobs and paving the way for economic recovery in Wales, and across the rest of the UK, as we face down this global pandemic.”